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Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

4.2 15
by Mark Goulston, Keith Ferrazzi

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ISBN-10: 0814414036

ISBN-13: 9780814414033

Pub. Date: 09/15/2009

Publisher: AMACOM

You’ve got a business colleague who’s hostile...a client who’s furious…a staffer who’s deeply cynical—how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to


You’ve got a business colleague who’s hostile...a client who’s furious…a staffer who’s deeply cynical—how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to anyone, even when productive communication seems impossible.

“Here's the challenge,” Mark says. “People have their own needs, desires, and agendas. They have secrets they’re hiding from you. And they’re stressed, busy, and often feeling like they’re in over their heads. To cope, they throw up barricades that make it difficult to reach them even when your goals are in sync with their own.”

But the good news is that there are simple strategies that can make you compelling, and break down the walls that keep you from getting through to the people you need to buy into your ideas and goals. Just Listen presents remarkably effective tools and techniques you can use whenever a job, a sale, or a relationship hangs in the balance.

How effective are Mark’s techniques? One of his areas of expertise is training FBI and police hostage negotiators to handle life-or-death situations. “The same tips I teach these professionals for building empathy, deescalating conflict, and gaining buy-in will work in any situation,” Mark says. “Whether you’re a new employee fresh out of school, a salesperson, or a CEO, once you master these skills you can take them wherever you go in your career.” And Mark has proven these strategies in his own 30-year career as a business coach at companies such as GE, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Kodak, Federal Express, Hyatt, and Disney.

With this powerful yet engaging book, you’ll learn how to:

• Get the attention of a total stranger who you need to know—like that potential client you absolutely must land.

• Talk an angry person up from an instinctual (irrational) state to receptivity, and finally to rationality—a skill that can save a job, a marriage, or even a life.

• Use the “Magic Paradox”—a technique the author developed for hostage negotiators—to turn a negative person into an asset.

• Master the critical art of buy-in (the foreplay of negotiation, persuasion, and selling) by moving anyone through the “Persuasion Cycle.”

Barricades between people become barriers to success, progress, and happiness; so getting through is not just a fine art, but a crucial skill. Just Listen gives you the techniques and confidence to approach the unreachable people in your life, and turn frustrating situations into productive outcomes and rewarding relationships.

Mark Goulston, M.D., is a psychiatrist, consultant, business coach, and is the author of Get Out of Your Own Way and Get Out of Your Own Way at Work. He writes a leadership column for Fast Company and the “Solve Anything with Dr. Mark” career advice column for Tribune Media Services. Named one of America’s Top Psychiatrists by the Consumers’ Research Council of America (2009, 2005, 2004), he is frequently quoted or featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Newsweek and others, and on CNN, NPR, Fox News, and BBC-TV. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents


Foreword by Keith Ferrazzi xv

Acknowledgments xvii

SECTION I The Secret to Reaching Anyone

1 Who’s Holding YOU Hostage?

2 A Little Science: How the Brain Goes from “No” to “Yes”

SECTION II The Nine Core Rules for Getting Through to Anyone 25

3 Move Yourself from “Oh F#@& to OK”

4 Rewire Yourself to Listen

5 Make the Other Person Feel “Felt”

6 Be More Interested Than Interesting

7 Make People Feel Valuable

8 Help People to Exhale Emotionally and Mentally

9 Check Your Dissonance at the Door

10 When All Seems Lost—Bare Your Neck

11 Steer Clear of Toxic People

SECTION III 12 Quick and Easy Ways to Achieve Buy-In and Get Through

12 The Impossibility Question

13 The Magic Paradox

14 The Empathy Jolt

15 The Reverse Play, Empathy Jolt #2

16 “Do You Really Believe That?”

17 The Power of “Hmmm . . .”

18 The Stipulation Gambit

19 From Transaction to Transformation

20 Side by Side

21 Fill in the Blanks

22 Take It All the Way to “No”

23 The Power Thank You and Power Apology

SECTION IV Putting It All Together: Fast Fixes for Seven Challenging Situations

24 The Team from Hell

25 Climbing the Ladder

26 The Narcissist at the Table

27 Stranger in Town

28 The Human Explosion

29 Getting Through to Yourself

30 Six Degrees of Separation



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Just Listen 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Retired_Chief More than 1 year ago
Mark Goulston has done a great job of explaining how the communication cycle works. He uses relevant examples to illustrate his ideas to help you not only listen but how to be heard. His information can be used in the workplace if you are employee having trouble getting through to people or as a supervisor who has to lead up or down ladder. He also uses examples that offer solutions to communication problems at home with your kids or spouse. The end of chapter includes a practical application tool for you to use to practice or use the concept you've just read about. If you ever thought "why don't people listen me" this book is for you!
alevy More than 1 year ago
Put simply, "Just Listen" is fabulous! It is a "must-read" for anyone who wants to enhance their relationships with others and with themselves. It contains practical and pragmatic approaches to many of the uncomfortable and difficult situations most of us encounter in both our professional and personal lives. Dr. Goulston provides the reader with real, usable language and strategies that are clearly designed to ensure successful outcomes. "Just Listen" is an invaluable tool for everyone! Dr. Goulston has truly hit a home-run with this gem of a book!
markwarner268 More than 1 year ago
Mark Goulston has hit another home run. Just Listen provides excellent advice for how to improve your relationships with even the most difficult people. The book provides just enough detail on how the brain works to make understanding the concepts easier without needing a medical degree to understand it. The nine rules for getting through to anyone are all the practices the popular and effective people use to get their point across. Mark details these practices in a way everyone can understand and put to use. The 12 ways to achieve buy-in are simple, actionable methods that will dramatically improve your ability to communicate and connect. If you only read one book this year, make it Just Listen - it is a life changer!
CoachEd More than 1 year ago
Mark has done a fine job in helping others to become better listeners. His techniques really work. I use the book in my college sales classes. Highly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.
DianaG More than 1 year ago
You'll see yourself just in the first page, tolerating someone difficult you gives you gray hair. This is more than a game of words, it is a real way to reach beyond another person's attitude by reaching into yourself first. A very healthy and productive approach that will help a lot of people personally and professionally.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best communication book I've ever read. (And one of the most helpful of all books, period.) If you've got someone that you want to get through to, this is the book for you. I love that it's based on science, so it all makes perfect sense; but it's easy to read and engaging, and full of practical examples. So many valuable tools and techniques in one book! This is a must-read for anyone--and works in both professional or personal life. Congratulations to Mark Goulston on a remarkable book.
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RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Being the life of the party won't help you make a sale. In fact, letting other people take the spotlight will actually garner more admiration and eventual "buy-in," explains psychiatrist Mark Goulston. This advice follows his axiom, "be more interested than interesting," which is one of his nine principles for connecting with others. Goulston, who has trained police officers and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation hostage negotiators, devotes a chapter each to 12 powerful techniques you can use to be more persuasive. His systems and strategies will help you cross the natural barriers people erect to protect themselves, so you can communicate your ideas and goals. He fleshes out each lesson with real-life examples and engaging stories. getAbstract thinks you'll find this book quite helpful in refining ways to "get through" to others. If Goulston can negotiate with a desperate gunman, he surely can help you sway a customer - or even your teenager. To learn more about this book, check out the following Web page: http://www.getabstract.com/summary/13016/just-listen.html
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